Administrative Secretary or Assistant

An administrative secretary is expected to handle the daily operations of an office or small business, often using computer software and various types of office equipment. Read on to find out if this is a career for you.

Is the Administrative Secretarial or Assisting Field for Me?

Career Overview

As an administrative secretary or administrative assistant, your responsibilities can include answering phones, scheduling meetings, organizing office information, opening mail and performing many other tasks. You're expected to be familiar with computer office programs, finding information on the Internet and working with multiple types of office technology. You might use different types of software applications to prepare formal documents, letters, statements, spreadsheets or proposals.

You may be able to gain entry-level employment with relevant high school training. However, for increased employment opportunities, completing a postsecondary academic program may be beneficial. Some employers might even offer on-the-job training.

Career Options

As an administrative secretary of administrative assistant, you might choose to explore related careers that you may be qualified for. You could become an accounts payable and accounts receivable clerk, file clerk, general office clerk, payroll clerk, receptionist, typist or work processor. You might even want to be self-employed and become a virtual assistant.

Employment Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of secretaries and administrative assistants was projected to grow by 12% between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). In May 2012, the BLS reported that secretaries and administrative assistants earned a median annual salary of $35,330.

How Do I Become an Administrative Secretary or Assistant?

Education

Administrative secretary and assistant programs are offered through community colleges and other types of colleges. Programs can range from undergraduate certificate programs to diploma programs to associate degree programs, such as an associate degree in secretarial science. Online training is also available in a variety of formats, such as online secretarial courses or an online degree program in administrative assisting. Throughout your educational training, you'll learn how to operate office technology and computers, along with different types of software. Studies typically include bookkeeping, dictation, office practices, payroll processing, professional development, social interaction and typing. You might also consider enrolling in independent classes or distance learning courses in these areas.

Specializations

Some colleges might offer specialty programs, such legal or medical studies. By gaining an education in medical secretarial and assisting studies, you might gain employment in a medical clinic, doctor's office or hospital. You might choose to become a medical administrative assistant. By taking a legal secretarial and assisting program, you might find work at a courthouse, legal organization or attorney's office. You could decide to pursue a career as a legal administrative assistant. You may even gain employment through internship opportunities offered through some colleges.

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